Tips to reduce your risk of diabetes

What is diabetes?What is diabetes?

Diabetes develops when your body cannot use glucose properly and as a result there can be high levels of glucose in the blood if the condition is not controlled. People with diabetes can lead a full and active life.  But if uncontrolled, it can cause a number of serious problems over time such as blindness, kidney failure, foot ulceration and nerve damage. Also, people with diabetes are at greater risk of developing heart disease than healthy people. So it is very important for those diagnosed with this condition to control their blood sugar levels and their blood pressure, to eat a healthy diet, be physically active and to lose weight if necessary.

There are two types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

If you have type 1 diabetes, then the cells in your pancreas that produce insulin have been destroyed. The body needs the hormone insulin to use glucose as fuel for cells and to control the amount of glucose in the blood, so people with type 1 diabetes need to help their body to use glucose properly by using insulin injections. Nobody fully understands why these cells become damaged, but it may be triggered by a viral or other infection.

Type 2 diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes, then your body either cannot produce enough insulin, or the insulin your body produces does not work properly. Type 2 diabetes tends to be diagnosed in older people, although increasingly, the symptoms are being seen in younger adults and even children.  Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked with obesity and can generally be treated by making lifestyle changes, although some people do require medication too.